It’s crazy to think that it’s been two weeks since we took another ride through the creative minds of Insomniac and experienced what can only be called “One of the greatest shows on earth.” The sold out 16th Annual Electric Daisy Carnival once again brought massive stages, world class talent, elaborate art installations, full size carnival rides, crazy performers, and enough lights, LED panels, lasers, and fireworks to cause a major case of sensory overload.
So what did we see and hear at this year’s event?
This time around, Insomniac seemed a lot more comfortable and prepared in their new home in Las Vegas. They made sure to fill every open spot with some form of entertainment, tarred down the gravel throughout the venue, and tried to assist with traffic problems. Walking into the enormous Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time doesn’t evoke the same feeling as walking into the LA Coliseum and seeing a giant sea of lights and people, but it still manages to grab you with it’s wide open view of the entire festival landscape. It was amazing to see how much room we actually had to walk around, explore, and dance in. Except for the main stage, we never once felt too cramped or uncomfortable and were always able to get as close as we wanted while still having room to dance. If you put over 100,000 people in any other venue you would likely run into some big problems. It wasn’t until Saturday night’s winds and having all the speedway lights come on that we really got a sense of how many people were in attendance.
This year’s event saw 8 stages which included kineticFIELD, cosmicMEADOW, circuitGROUNDS, neonGARDEN, bassPOD, Q-Dance, discoverySTAGE, and the Wide Awake Art Car. The attention to detail that Insomniac puts into their productions is unmatched, at least here in the United States. Insomniac Founder and CEO, Pasquale Rotella, has said many times that “it’s all about the experience,” and it really shows. Whether it be the kineticFIELD that completely surrounded the crowd with LED panels and pyrotechnics, the circuitGROUNDS that covered fans with a giant cage, or the bassPOD with crazy visuals designed by V Squared Labs, it was apparent that Insomniac wasn’t holding back. When it comes to looks, our favorite stage has to be Q-Dance. With it’s giant warrior-like structure and insane production, it not only made us feel like we were in Europe, it showed us the direction we’d like to see Insomniac’s stage production go.
Aside from the music, our favorite part of Insomniac events are always the large art installations. Without going to Burning Man, EDC is the only place to see art like the flaming “Serpent Mother,” the giant monkey zoetrope “Homouroboros,” the tall “Spire of Fire,” or the almost scary steampunk Octopus “El Pulpo Mecanico,” all in one place. Next year, we would highly suggest that everyone takes a moment out from the music to check out some of these amazing pieces of work. Stay tuned for our spotlight articles on each of these art installations and make sure to click on their highlighted names above to get an idea of what they’re all about.
EDC Vegas 2012 brought in almost every electronic music artist you could think of. When asked by people who was going to be there, my only reply was “everyone.” There was something there for all tastes, no matter what EDM sub-genre you’re into. For us, we’re all about the smaller stages, making our way to the main stage only once each day to catch Knife Party, Bassnectar and Pretty Lights. The fact that both Bassnectar and Pretty Lights were on the main stage was a huge surprise and a nice change from the usual KineticFIELD acts we see. Most of our time was spent jumping between the circuitGROUNDS and cosmicMEADOW, seeing artists like Gabriel & Dresden, Markus Schulz, Seth Troxler, and Gareth Emery.
Our musical highlights for the entire weekend took place on Sunday night. Pretty Lights at kineticFIELD and the 5 hour stretch at the cosmicMEADOW with John Digweed, Carl Cox, and Danny Tenaglia were our favorites. Pretty Lights as always brought his soulful and funky beats with a nice mix of old and new tracks, John Digweed brought his deep, dark techno, and Carl Cox drew in a huge crowd with his high energy set. Danny Tenaglia finished us off with a performance that made us even more heartbroken that he’s resigning from the scene.
Despite the wind disrupting Saturday night and minor traffic issues, we would say EDC Vegas 2012 was a overall success and we look forward to what Insomniac brings us in 2013. Hopefully next year there will be other themed stages like Q-Dance, live acts like Miami Horror and Cut Copy, as well as the purchase and revival of a Wonderland themed Sahara Hotel and Casino by Insomniac.